The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

WHS junior Sophia Basaldua featured in an exhibit at Kean University

Photo courtesy of Sophia Basaldua
Sophia Basaldua at “Emerging Artists” Exhibit in the James Howe Gallery at Kean University

On Jan. 28, junior Sophia Basaldua was featured in the “Emerging Artists’’ exhibit in the James Howe Gallery at Kean University. As pictured in the photo, the painting is a self-portrait surrounded by limes. Within her chest, you can see her lungs glowing and full of flowers. Basaldua’s thought process was that honey reminds her of warmth and healing so that’s why she painted the lungs all “warm and glowy.” The limes surround her, and if you look closely, you can see a bee in the flowers of the limes, as a little representation of the honey.

“I found out about [the exhibit] through my art teacher, Mrs. Procaccino. I’m in AP Art, and through her we learned that there was something happening at Kean and she encouraged us all to submit,” said Basaldua. The art was then sent to the district art supervisor and she picked one piece to be represented at the exhibit.

Basaldua’s piece, “Manzanilla, Miel y Limón,” was selected to represent WHS in the exhibit.

Art Teacher Amanda Procaccino said, “She’s very confident in who she is, who she is as an artist and what she wants to say, which is not often something that kids her age are usually capable of.”

Inspired by the theme of healing and remedies, Basaldua’s inspiration for this piece were her own experiences and culture. “There’s this tea that my grandma used to make, made of chamomile, a heavy amount of squeezed lime and a lot of honey. Every time she gave it to us it would make you feel better,” she said. “It was always the remedy.” Basaldua chose to paint just that little bit of emotion on her face, asking herself, “How did the tea make me feel?”

Basaldua’s love for art started when she lived in New York and took an art class at a summer program she was attending. She loves to take inspiration from her Peruvian heritage, incorporating bright and vibrant colors. She mainly creates portraits or paintings of animals, using acrylics or any paint medium to do her pieces.

Basaldua hopes to turn her art into a career in the future. “I do hope to have a career in art even though I know that art can be a difficult path or a scary path to take. It’s not the most reliable. I need it to be a part of my life; I don’t think art is something I can give up that easily.”

This is not the last we will see of Basaldua. On March 5, Basaldua, along with senior Danielle Might, was selected by artist Ricardo Roig to be featured in his gallery space at 254 E. Broad St. in Westfield.

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